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Booking Through Thursday

Do you have a favorite book? What do you say when people ask you? (This question always flummoxes me because how can you pick just one, so I’m eager to hear what you folks have to say.)

And, has your favorite book changed over the years??

I have several favorite books, too. In fact, if someone asks me to name just one favorite writer or book I tend to say "So, you don't read a lot?" I can't even pick one favorite book by a favorite author. Or I could ask "how much time do you have?" or "in which genre?"

Some of my favorite authors: Lois McMaster Bujold, Steven Brust, Elizabeth Bear, Elizabeth Peters, Liz Williams, Neil Gaiman, Anne Logston, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, C. J. Cherryh... and I haven't even started on comics yet.

Yes, my favorites have changed quite a lot. When I was young, I love the Famous Five and the Black Stallion. Then I discovered fantasy and SF but my favorite author isn't R. A. Salvatore anymore.

Then again, I have similar trouble picking one favorite movie or TV-show.


Looking for an SF/fantasy story

I'm trying to find an SF (or fantasy, depending on how you define such things) story I read long ago that claims that any group of people falls silent at 20 after the hour. The narrator theorizes that people are listening for something, and the final line of the story (without major spoilers) has the listeners being rewarded. I believe I read this in an SF anthology, but I can't remember which one. My guess is that this dates from the 1950s or 1960s. It's the sort of thing Theodore Sturgeon would write, but that doesn't mean he wrote this one.

The idea of the story is that people have been, without knowing it, waiting for the voice of some deity. And the last line of the story has a voice coming from nowhere (at 20 minutes after the hour, naturally), saying something like, "And now, my good children, I have come home."

Note that there's an entry on Snopes about the superstition of groups of people falling silent at 20 after the hour having to do with Lincoln's death. This may have been the inspiration for the story, but is otherwise unrelated.

Apr. 23rd, 2014

• What are you currently reading?

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. Still taking it in bite-sized pieces.

Life Mask, by Emma Donoghue. This one too. FUCKING STOP IT ELIZA AND ANNE. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie. I can only read this at work and only when it's slow, so this is going pretty slowly as you might imagine.

Disease, by Mary Dobson. I'd be farther along if my roommate hadn't stolen it.

Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett. Mixed feelings about this one so far: more on that later.

Also a couple of poetry anthologies, because, you know, poetry month.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Stargirl, by Louis Sacher. Much more heartbreaking than I remembered, dammit, Sacher. He's good.

Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors, and Other True Cases, by Ann Rule. Felt like she just sort of picked a few cases and slammed them together and called it a book, tbh? But I've felt like that about her casebooks recently. At least these kinda had a theme.

Fear, Some, Douglas Kearney. You may recall that I was reading his book Black Automaton last week. Fear, Some is better, at least IMO, but they're both pretty fantastic so, you know. So it goes.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Probably one of the other books I have out of the library (I have my eye on a book about royal mistresses) as well as A Lady Raised High (because Imma keep that Henry VIII is a douche streak going) and some more poetry. Because poetry!

This entry is crossposted at Please comment over there if possible.

tapering off meds

Dear interwebs:

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I basically have a month and a half left of my medications before I either can't get any more period or they become prohibitively expensive. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for weaning off citalopram without getting the damned dizzy spells, or at least cutting down on them?* I can't function if I have dizzy spells all the time, but right now it seems like that's my ultimate fate. So, seriously, any help, vastly appreciated.


*I would consult a doctor on this matter, except that the circumstances beyond my control are me losing health insurance, so, no doctors for me for the foreseeable future.

This entry is crossposted at Please comment over there if possible.
The book i read in grade 7 was something about magic. Where a boy was raised in a family but it wasn't his real family. His real family was from some magical realm or something. And both his father and mother were powerful and well known but had somehow died. So later in the book he gets magical powers. He also meets a goth chick half way in the book and she acts like his girlfriend. That's all i remember of that book but i know it had a sequel. And that the cover of the book had the main guy riding a horse with 2 other people on each side also accompanied with a horse. i really want to read this book again, but i just cant remember the name or author. please help, thank you.

Living the Dream

My studio set up in the loft is coming along nicely. I'm going to post a picture of the entire set up once it's all neat and professional looking. First I've got to hang some sheets or something to block out all the clutter on the sides of the space since those areas are still used for storage. I busted out my old desk from the shed (glad that I saved it) but it faces the back of the chimney (the loft is above the dining room and behind the chimney) and doesn't have the most appealing view, so I've got to do something there as well. I've got my microphone now, and it sounds great, but I've got to test different positions since it picks up every noise from my mouth, even the unwanted ones like if I swallow. I'm working on a letter to post to my website and then I'm going to make an audio recording of it with the new mic. That'll be fun. If you listened to my last audio post with just the voice recorder (the one in this blog post here: ) you'll probably remember that the volume was sorta light. I've learned how to control that now, and have picked up a few other techniques so the next audio post will be an improvement. I'm still waiting on my mixer so I can tweak the audio output (of course I've got to teach myself all that still.) I've also got to find the right video editing software so I can record a video blog every now and then. Audio off my Nexus 5 is terrible, but if I could figure out how to use the audio from my mic set up, the video would suffice for now. Everything just has such a steep learning curve and takes a while to learn. I'm doing a little everyday, and I can say with certainty that I know way more today about website design, search engine optimization, podcasting, and video blogging than I did a couple months ago. It's all coming along rather nicely I suppose. Now I have to finish #writing my #novel so I actually become an #author.

heil pr40, Roland r-05, robert a lyon, Robert a lyon author, Robert lyon, studio
I'm looking for a short chapter book that I read in Canada in about 1995; my little brother had borrowed a copy from a library. It had some text and very bright, cartoonish illustrations.

It's about a kindergarten boy who finds a container of bubble-blowing solution on the way to school and takes it with him. He's forgotten that it's show-and-tell day, so when called upon to show-and-tell something, he pulls out the bubble solution and blows a bubble. It gets to be an enormous size and then goes and totally envelops the teacher and lifts her out the window. He blows more bubbles and those surround the boy and his classmates, and they have a short adventure travelling through the skies. As I recall, there's a near encounter with an airplane, but everyone returns to the ground safely.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Found! Looks like Show and Tell by Elvira Woodruff. Thanks to nanichloe!
This was a book that I read in a library where I don't have checkout privileges, and I've unfortunately forgotten the title; it seems to be of fairly recent vintage. These are the details I remember:

The story is set in a war-torn indeterminate future, and deals with a traveling circus whose performers have all been cybernetically altered, often into drastically posthuman form; for example, the trapezes are formed by two members with extensible telescoping arms, and the music director is a sort of ambulatory human pipe organ. The show's star attraction had flown on a pair of (evidently unique and irreplaceable) wings, for which a new recruit to the company and an established member are furiously vying.

The ringmaster recruits members by approaching people on the brink of death and offering to revive them, with the understanding that they will be irrevocably transformed and bound to the circus; then she transforms them via some sort of necromantic/mad-scientific power that (I get the impression) she received from whatever caused the general devastation. (In her previous life, she'd been an operatic contralto; this is where I discovered a wonderful disgruntled summary of the roles typically available in that vocal range: "Bitches, witches, and britches.")

The story is told in third-person omniscient, present tense, and punctuated by periodic arch parenthetical asides (for example, a team of eight acrobats who present themselves as brothers are in fact a former platoon; the narrative maintains a running kill count for each, ranging from zero to eighty-nine. The one who can claim zero is undecided as to whether to be embarrassed by or proud of that fact.)

None of the female (or, for that matter, the male) characters has a backstory involving rape or sex work. (This was a refreshing change from the last few works in the genre I'd read, and I can thereby recommend it to readers who might be triggerable on those subjects.)

ETA: The book is Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine; a tip of the neo-Victorian topper to treetelling.

Other stuff

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